April 20, 2005
IRISH TAKE TO THE ROAD FOR FIRST TIME IN APRIL:
For the first time in the month of April, the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team takes to the road as the Irish travel to No. 11 Johns Hopkins on Sunday, April 24. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m. (EDT) at Homewood Field in Baltimore, Md. The Irish are in the midst of closing the season with games versus four ranked teams, including Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Syracuse and Ohio State. In last week’s lone game, the Irish dropped a 14-6 decision to No. 3 ranked Georgetown to close their five-game homestand with a 1-4 mark. For the year, Notre Dame is 3-9 overall and 1-3 in BIG EAST action. The Blue Jays are in the midst of a busy week of action as they faced No. 15 Towson on Monday, taking a 15-10 win, then play host to No. 1 Northwestern on Friday afternoon before facing Notre Dame on Sunday. Johns Hopkins is 9-3 overall after Monday’s win and 3-1 in the American Lacrosse Conference (ALC). Following Sunday’s game with the Blue Jays, Notre Dame closes out the regular-season road schedule on Saturday, April 30 with a 1:00 p.m. (EDT) game at Syracuse.
IRISH VERSUS JOHNS HOPKINS:
Notre Dame and Johns Hopkins have met twice in the all-time series with the Blue Jays winning both contests. The first meeting came on March 25, 2000 at Baltimore with Johns Hopkins taking a 9-7 decision. The second meeting came last year at Moose Krause Stadium with the Blue Jays taking a 13-12 win over the Irish. The Irish rallied from an 11-8 deficit in that game to tie the score at 12-12 with just over six minutes left on Mary McGrath’s (Jr., Bryn Mawr, Pa.) third goal of the game. Mary Key scored with 3:24 left in the game to give Johns Hopkins the 13-12 lead and the Blue Jays held the Irish off the scoreboard the rest of the way. Meredith Simon led Notre Dame with six points (3g, 3a) in the game. Crysti Foote (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) had a pair of goals to join McGrath among the list of returning players to get on the scoreboard. Jackie Bowers (Sr., Springfield, Pa.) also had a goal for the Irish and goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Sr., Pennsauken, N.J.) made 13 saves in the game.
HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne:
Notre Dame head coach Tracy Coyne is in her ninth season as the head coach of the Irish and is the only coach in the program’s Division I history. Coyne owns a 72-57 (.558) record at Notre Dame and is 186-83 (.680) in her 18-year coaching career. In 2004, she led the Irish to a 12-5 record and a 4-2 mark in the BIG EAST, good for second in the league standings. Coyne also was selected as the 2004 BIG EAST coach of the year. Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second time in the last three years where the Irish lost to Northwestern, 10-8, in a first-round tournament game. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native led Denison (1988) and Roanoke (1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996) to the NCAA Division III tournament during stops at those schools. A 1983 graduate of Ohio University, Coyne has coached on the international level as the head coach for the Canadian women’s lacrosse national team. She led the team to the medal round at the 2001 World Cup and will serve as head coach of Team Canada again for the 2005 World Cup. Coyne is 0-2 all-time versus Johns Hopkins.
No. 3 Georgetown jumped out to an 8-1 lead at halftime and coasted to the 14-6 win over the Irish at Moose Krause Stadium on April 16. Notre Dame controlled the first 10 minutes of the game, out shooting Georgetown, 6-0, but only led 1-0 on a Lena Zentgraf (Jr., Charlottesville, Va.) goal at 9:10 of the first half. From there, it was all Georgetown as the Hoyas ran off eight unanswered first-half goals. Catherine Elbe (4g, 1a), Allison Chambers (3g, 2a) and Coco Stanwick (3g, 2a) paced the Georgetown attack in the game. Crysti Foote led the Irish with three goals in the game. Zentgraf had a goal and an assist while Kaki Orr (So., Darien, Conn.) and Mary McGrath had single goals in the game. Notre Dame out shot Georgetown, 32- 27 in the game, but Hoya goalkeepers Sarah Robinson and Maggie Koch combined for 17 saves in the game. Carol Dixon played 57:04 minutes, giving up all 14 goals while making four saves. Katie Linhares (So., Greenwich, Conn.) played 2:56 minutes and made one stop in the contest. Georgetown has now beaten the Irish in all six meetings in the all-time series.
Based on laxpower.com’s lastest computer rankings, the Irish have the ninth toughest schedule in the country. Ahead of Notre Dame are Loyola, Duke, Georgetown, Maryland, Princeton, Virginia, Vanderbilt and North Carolina. In laxpower.com’s latest computer rankings, the Irish are ranked 25th of 82 Division I programs.
VERSUS THE BEST:
Notre Dame’s meeting with No. 11 Johns Hopkins is the fourth game this season for the Irish versus a ranked team. They are 0-4 this season in those games, losing to Northwestern, James Madison, Duke and Georgetown. All-time versus ranked teams, Notre Dame is 15-36 after going 6-4 last season. Based on this week’s IWLCA poll, the Irish will play their final three games of the season versus ranked teams – No. 11 Johns Hopkins, No. 13 Syracuse and No. 19 Ohio State.
Despite the team struggles this season, junior Crysti Foote is in the midst of a career year for the Irish. She comes into this week’s game leading Notre Dame in scoring with 26 goals and 13 assists for 39 points. The 13 assists and 39 points are career highs for Foote. Her best goal-scoring season came in 2003 as a freshman when she had 27 goals. She currently ranks fifth in goals (79), is tied for fifth in assists (33) and is fifth in points scored (112). She currently has a seven-game point-scoring streak (18-9-27).
LOW SCORING AFFAIR:
When Notre Dame and Stanford combined for 11 goals in their April 10th game, it tied the Irish record for fewest goals combined in a game. On April 28, 2002, the Irish combined with Rutgers to score 11 goals (a 9-2 Notre Dame win).
Six of Notre Dame’s nine losses this season have been by three goals or less and two have come in overtime. The Irish have three one-goal losses this season – 6-5 to Stanford, 10-9 to Boston College in overtime and 10-9 to Vanderbilt in overtime. They also have three losses by three goals – 11-8 at Cornell, 13-10 to Connecticut and 11-8 to Duke. The 14-6 loss to Georgetown was the largest scoring difference (8 goals) this season. The Irish also lost 10-5 to James Madison and 18-11 to Northwestern. The nine losses have been by a total of 32 goals (3.55 per loss).
Caitlin McKinney (Fr., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) ranks second on the Irish in scoring with 20 goals and 11 assists for 31 points. With three games left in the season, she currently is tied for the fourth-best points total for a Notre Dame freshman. She trails, Lael O’Shaughnessy and Courtney Calabrese who each had 41 points as freshmen in 1998 and Crysti Foote who recorded 38 points as a freshman in 2003. She is tied with Danielle Shearer, who had 31 points as a rookie in 2000.
OUT OF ACTION:
Sophomore midfielder Meghan Murphy (Centennial, Colo.) will be sidelined for the remainder of the season after injuring her right knee on March 6 at Cornell. Murphy had six goals and one assist for seven points in the three games she played this season.
Junior midfielder Lena Zentgraf turned in the best offensive game of her career versus Rutgers on April 3 when she scored a career-high three goals and one assist for four points in the 12-9 win over Rutgers. She extended her point-scoring streak to seven games with a goal and an assist versus Georgetown on April 16. Coming into the season, Zentgraf had not scored a point. This year she ranks fifth in scoring with nine goals and six assists for 13 points.
Freshman Caitlin McKinney had her team-best 11-game point-scoring streak snapped versus Georgetown. She had recorded 20 goals and 11 assists for 31 points in her first 11 games this season. Other Notre Dame scoring streaks include:
Junior attack Brittany Fox (Jr., Annapolis, Md.) continues to provide a spark to the Notre Dame attack off the bench this season. In the last 10 games she’s played in, Fox has scored 15 goals with five assists for 20 points. Included are two three-point games and a pair of games with three goals and one assist. Fox ranks third on the Irish in scoring with her 20 points.
After playing in just two games as a freshman, sophomore midfielder Kaki Orr (Darien, Conn.) broke into the starting lineup for the Irish this season and is putting together a strong season. In 12 games this year, Orr now has 11 goals on 24 shots and an assist for 12 points. She also is second on the team and third in the BIG EAST in ground balls (31). Orr also ranks third on the team in draw controls (16).
SLAMMING THE DOOR:
Senior goalkeeper Carol Dixon took over as Notre Dame’s top goalkeeper in 2004 and has now started 29 consecutive games between the pipes for the Irish. Last season she was 12-5 with an 8.57 goals-against average and a .505 save percentage while playing all but 3:28 minutes on the year. This year, Dixon has played all but 9:52 (versus Connecticut and Georgetown) and is 3-9 with a 10.64 goals against and a .448 save percentage. For her career, Dixon is now 15-14 with a 9.22 goals-against average and a .495 save percentage. She is second in games played (34), third in saves (277) and third in wins (15). Three times this season, Dixon has recorded a season-high 12 saves in a game.
Senior captain Lindsay Shaffer (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) paced the Notre Dame offensive attack in the 10-5 loss at James Madison on March 13 when she turned in the first two-goal game of her career. Shaffer, who came into the season with no goals in 19 career games, has already scored five goals and one assist this season on 12 shots.
The Irish have now lost two overtime games this season by a 10-9 score. On March 9, they fell at Vanderbilt by a 10-9 verdict and on March 26, Boston College took the win by the same score. In the nine-year history of the program, Notre Dame has now played nine overtime games, going 3-6 in those games. Remarkably, five of those nine overtime contests have ended with 10-9 scores.
HUSKIES SNAP STREAK:
Connecticut’s 13-10 win over the Irish marked the first time the Huskies had ever won in four tries at Notre Dame. The win was just the second for Connecticut in seven meetings with the Irish.
Notre Dame’s 10-9 overtime loss at Boston College marked the first time in seven all-time meetings that the Irish lost to the Eagles. Notre Dame is 6-1 all-time versus BC. The loss also marked the first time in five BIG EAST seasons that the Irish started the conference schedule with an 0-1 record.
Senior goalkeeper Carol Dixon currently leads Notre Dame in ground balls and is second in the BIG EAST with 33 on the season. In goal, she has a 10.64 goals-against average and a .448 save percentage.
Senior Jess Mikula (Chester, Md.) continues to be one of the top defensive players in the BIG EAST through 12 games this season. She currently leads the Irish with 25 draw controls and 19 caused turnovers and is third in ground balls with 29. Mikula is third in the BIG EAST in draw controls and caused turnovers. She is tied for fifth in ground balls. She scored her first goal of the season versus California and turned in career highs with six draw controls and six caused turnovers in the game.
TOO MANY GOALS:
The 18 goals scored by Northwestern on March 3 were the most given up by the Irish in a game since an 18-9 loss at Vanderbilt on Apr. 13, 1999. The 18 goals are the most given up by Notre Dame at home since a 20-9 loss to Syracuse on April 11, 1998, the second year of the program.
Serving as captains for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team in 2005 will be seniors Carol Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.), Jess Mikula (Chester, Md.) and Lindsay Shaffer (Seneca Falls, N.Y.). Each player begins their first year as captains for the Irish.
Junior attack standout Crysti Foote has picked up right where she left off last season in the goal-scoring department. Through the first 12 games of the 2005 season, Foote leads the team in scoring with 26 goals and 13 assists for 39 points. She has twice this season been selected the BIG EAST offensive player of the week (Feb. 28 and April 4). As a sophomore, she scored 26 goals and added nine assists for 35 points in 17 games. She was a second team all-BIG EAST selection and was a second team IWLCA Mid-Atlantic Region selection. As a freshman, she had 27 goals and 11 assists for 38 points. Following her rookie season, Foote became the first Notre Dame women’s lacrosse freshman to be named to the IWLCA first team all-Mid-Atlantic region team. She was selected as a preseason All-American by Inside Lacrosse Magazine and was selected as a preseason all-BIG EAST selection in voting by the coaches. Foote will also play this summer for Team Canada in the 2005 World Cup at Annapolis, Md.
ON THE RIGHT FOOTE:
Crysti Foote got her season off to a fast start with a career-high eight-point game (5g, 3a) game at Ohio University. The five goals was also a career high for the junior attack standout. She has since added a pair of six-point games versus California on March 22 and Connecticut on April 1. She had four goals and two assists in each game.
BIG EAST HONORS:
Junior Crysti Foote has been selected BIG EAST offensive player of the week twice this season. On April 4, she was the co-offensive player in the conference after scoring seven goals in games versus Connecticut and Rutgers. In the opening week of the season she turned in a career-high eight-point game (5g, 3a) in a 16-10 win over Ohio University. She also received honorable mention for Inside Lacrosse national player of the week honors. Senior Jess Mikula led Notre Dame’s defense in the win over Ohio. She grabbed three ground balls and had then career highs in caused turnovers (4) and draw controls (5) in the victory. For her play, Mikula was named the BIG EAST defensive player of the week.
Sophomore midfielder Meghan Murphy (Centennial, Colo.) had a career-high four goals and four points versus Ohio University. Her previous best was a three-goal game in her freshman year versus Cornell. Junior midfielder Lena Zentgraf (Charlottesville, Va.) had a career-high two assist game in the Ohio victory and had a career-best three-goals and four points versus Rutgers (4/3). Lindsay Shaffer had a career-high two-goals in the 10-5 loss at James Madison on March 13. Freshman Heather Ferguson recorded a career-best three-point game (2g, 1a) in the 18-8 win over California. Fellow freshman Mary Carpenter (Rochester, N.Y.) had two goals at Vanderbilt and then had a two-assist game versus California on March 22. Brittany Fox has had a pair of four-point games (3g, 1a) at Vanderbilt (3/9) and versus California (3/22).
Tracy Coyne welcomes back two of her former players as members of her coaching staff for the 2005 season. Returning as an assistant coach is 2002 graduate Alissa Moser who replaced former assistant Jen Newitt last August. Moser was a two-time captain and four-time monogram winner during her playing days. A native of North Wales, Pa., Moser finished her career tied for sixth in points (85), is seventh in goals (67) and is first in draw controls (126). She will work with the Notre Dame offense in 2005. Also joining Coyne’s staff as a volunteer assistant is 2004 graduate Kristen Gaudreau. A two-time monogram winner, Gaudreau was a starter on defense in each of the last two seasons and helped lead the Irish to the second-best goals-against average (8.54) in the program’s history last season. She returned to Notre Dame to work on her Master’s Degree in accountancy.
Notre Dame is now 7-2 all-time in season openers after defeating Ohio University. The Irish are 7-2 in road openers and 5-4 in home openers after the loss to Northwestern in the first nine seasons of the women’s lacrosse program.
BEATING THE ALMA MATER:
Notre Dame improved its record to 6-0 all-time versus Ohio University with the 16-10 win on Feb. 27. The Irish have now won three times at home versus the Bobcats and three times in Athens, Ohio. Ohio University just happens to be Irish head coach Tracy Coyne’s alma mater. She is a 1983 graduate.
Two Notre Dame players were selected by BIG EAST coaches as preseason all-BIG EAST team members. Making the list are senior Jess Mikula (Chester, Md.) and junior Crysti Foote (Suffern, N.Y.). Both players were second team all-BIG EAST selections in 2004. Mikula recorded 33 ground balls and had 22 caused turnovers from here defensive position last season. Foote is Notre Dame’s top returning scorer after getting 26 goals with nine assists for 35 points last season. She was also named a preseason All-American by Inside Lacrosse Magazine. FAMILY TIES: Five members of the Notre Dame lacrosse team have family ties to the program and one other has ties to the men’s lacrosse program. Senior goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) played two seasons (2002 and 2003) with her sister, Angela, who graduated in May of 2003. Notre Dame’s third and fourth sister acts arrived on campus in the fall when twins Heather and Lindsey Ferguson (Newtown Square, Pa.) joined the Irish along with fellow freshman Julie Foote (Suffern, N.Y.) who is the sister of junior attack standout Crysti Foote (Suffern, N.Y.). The Dixon’s, Ferguson’s and Foote’s give Notre Dame four sets of sisters to play on the women’s lacrosse team, joining Amy and Mara Grace who played in the first year of the program. Sophomore midfield/attack player, Megan O’Shaughnessy (Englewood, Colo.) is the cousin of Irish scoring great Lael O’Shaughnessy, a 2001 graduate. Sophomore defender Lena Zentgraf (Charlottesville, Va.) is the niece of men’s lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan and associate athletic director Boo Corrigan, as well as, the granddaughter of former Notre Dame athletic director Gene Corrigan.
With the dawning of a new season, several Notre Dame players made their first career starts in the opener versus Ohio University. Freshman Caitlin McKinney made her first start at midfield. Joining her in the midfield in their first starts were Lena Zentgraf (Jr., Charlottesville, Va.) and Kaki Orr (So., Darien, Conn.). Making her first career start on defense was sophomore Kristin Hopson (Rosemont, Pa.). Since the opener, Heather Ferguson has started seven games and Brittany Fox has made two starts, the first coming versus Cornell. Mary McGrath was in the starting lineup for the first time when the Irish defeated California on March 22.
COACH OF THE YEAR:
Head Coach Tracy Coyne was named the BIG EAST coach of the year following the 2004 season. For Coyne, this was her first BIG EAST coach of the year honor. She is no stranger to coach of the year honors as in 1990 she was selected as the NCAA Division III coach of the year at Roanoke and was the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) coach of the year in 1990 and 1995. Prior to her stint at Roanoke (1990-96), Coyne spent two years at Denison College (1988-89) where she was the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) coach of the year in 1988.
Notre Dame had three players receive All-American honors in 2004, the most ever in the program’s eight-year history. Leading the way was senior Meredith Simon who became the school’s first-ever first team IWLCA All-American. She also was a second team Inside Lacrosse and womenslacrosse.com All-American. Defensive standout Andrea Kinnik took IWLCA second team honors and was a third team selection by both Inside Lacrosse magazine and womenslacrosse.com. Midfielder Abby Owen also took All-American honors as a third team selection by both IWLCA and Inside Lacrosse magazine.
Notre Dame has now made two appearances in the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament. In 2004, the Irish lost in the first round at Northwestern by a 10-8 score. In 2002, the Irish advanced for the first time, defeating Ohio State at Moose Krause Stadium, 11-7, before losing to top-ranked Princeton, 11-5, in the quarterfinals.
Notre Dame opened the 2004 season with 10 consecutive wins, the most ever for the Irish at the start of a season. Combined with wins in the final four games of 2003, Notre Dame put together a school-record 14-game winning streak. The streak went from 4/22/03 to 4/17/04. Prior to that, the longest winning streak the Irish ever had was a six-game streak from 3/13/01 to 3/31/01.